February 25, 2021
Photo: Human hand 12 weeks after conception

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass H.R.5, the "Equality Act" today. If this bill becomes law, it will devastate efforts to save prenatal babies in the United States.

Health care providers will be forced to treat abortion-killing as no different than any other routine medical procedure.

Taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions.

Employers, even churches, will have to buy abortion coverage for their employees.

Northwestern Pennsylvania pro-life representatives Mike Kelly and Glenn Thompson can be counted on to vote NO, but the legislation is expected to pass in any case.

Our last stand (Pro-abortion President Biden can be counted on to sign this legislation.) will be in the U.S. Senate. We must do everything we can to convince Sen. Bob Casey to oppose the measure. Pro-life Sen. Pat Toomey should be encouraged to stand firmly against H.R.5, also.

National Right to Life provides more details:

Section 9 of the Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by defining “sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” It is well established that abortion will be regarded as a “related medical condition.” See 29 C.F.R. pt. 1604 App. (1986) and Doe v. CARS Protection Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 358 (3d Cir. 2008).

H.R. 5 goes on to expand this anti-discrimination provision by stating that “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions,” and would add “establishments that provide health care” to the list of covered “public accommodations.” What these provisions will mean, taken together, is that health care establishments and individuals providing healthcare will be required to provide abortion as a “treatment” for pregnancy.

H.R. 5’s new definition of “public accommodations” includes any “establishment that provides health care, accounting, or legal services.” The bill has an additional rule of construction that the term “establishment” “shall be construed to include an individual whose operations affect commerce and who is a provider of a good, service, or program” and “shall not be construed to be limited to a physical facility or place.” These provisions would apply to individual health care providers who object to abortion, including those with religious objections. Indeed, the bill explicitly overrides the protections contained in existing federal law under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 2U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.

These pro-abortion requirements may also apply to non-physical entities such as federal and state governments that determine health care coverage under Medicaid. H.R. 5 does include a reference to Pub. L. 88–352, title VII, § 703, which prevents employers from being forced to offer abortion coverage. However, there is no language to thus protect individual health care providers. Also, there is no language applying to the authority of federal or state governments (non-physical entities) to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions, as under the Hyde Amendment.
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